Weekly Reflections

Weekly Reflections on Justice are written by the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach staff, volunteers, interns, and visiting Columban Missionaries. We hope these reflections help to guide you on your own spiritual journey working toward justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.

  • Our Common Humanity

    The inauguration took place this past Friday, and I can’t think of another political race, in my lifetime, that created this much division. In my own family, there was definite disagreement about which bubble on the ballot to fill in for president, and my Thanksgiving was full of shock when I learned of our differences. At one point, I had to excuse myself from the holiday party to digest our disparity. My initial reaction was, “How could these people I love choose something...

  • I Have Called You to Be My Servant

    On the first Sunday after the Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord, we hear the passage this passage from the prophet Isaiah. It is a great call to service, to be a light to the nations so that by our actions we may bear witness to the hope for salvation throughout the earth. Imagine for a moment, what that hope might look like to a refugee or migrant, to those families which experience the terrible suffering of violence or war, or to those communities that experience the devastating effects...

  • Columban Divestment and Positive Impact Investing

    We know both through our missionary experience, and by what global climate scientists tell us, that our human dependence on fossil fuels is a significant cause of climate change and its devastating consequences. Faced with this reality, in 2016, on the feast of St. Francis in a joint announcement coordinated by the Global Catholic Climate Movement of catholic institutions around the world, Columbans pledged to take steps to divest from fossil fuels and move towards positive impact investing...

  • The Gift of the Magi

    weekly reflections

    Sunday’s gospel reading tells us the story of the Epiphany, the feast day for which we just celebrated this past Friday. The Magi, often referred to as the three kings or the three wise men, come from the East to Jerusalem to ask, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him?” Hearing this news, King Herod tells them to go and search diligently for the child. He tells the three kings, “When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go...

  • Laudato Si Homily Helps

    Laudato Si Homily HelpsThe Catholic Climate Covenant provides resources for homilists and other materials that will help you integrate the rich insights of Laudato Si' and Christian care for creation into Sunday Mass. These include highlights from the scriptures, readings of the day, relevant quotations from Laudato Si', brief commentary, illustrations and anecdotes, sample applications, sample petitions, and bulletin notes.

  • Everyone Can Be an Artisan of Peace!

    On January 1, Pope Francis delivered his annual World Day of Peace message. He chose for his theme, on this 50th anniversary of the Peace Day message, “Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace.” His message is all the more timely and urgent, given a world torn by war and violence. For years now, daily accounts of the suffering of civilians in Aleppo, Syria and for months, tweets from a 7-year-old girl named Bana, pleading for help, have brought the plight of Syrian civilians and refugees into the...

  • Advent Invitation: Embracing Jesus and Each Other

    It is the Fourth week of Advent. After weeks of preparation, the time has almost come for us to embrace baby Jesus. While we are getting ready to welcome Jesus into our hearts, it is important to extend this welcome and embrace those that are marginalized our society—including migrants. Yesterday, December 18, was International Migrant Day. This Advent season marks 22 years that my parents have lived in United States after leaving El Salvador. My family belongs to a Columban...

  • Finding Dory and Climate Change

    As I approach the end of my internship here at the Columban Center, I find myself reflecting on all of the many ways in which I have grown since day one. Just a few months ago I knew only the basics about climate change and climate change policy. Now, I understand so much more about the state of our global climate and what we can do to take care of it. This internship has helped me to grow by forcing me to focus on an issue that I had not previously given much thought to...

  • A Year of Mercy

    Love your neighbor

    On November 20, 2016, Pope Francis concluded a Year of Mercy by symbolically closing the Holy Door to St. Peter’s Basilica. The past year has allowed us to reflect intimately on our faithfulness to Jesus and his endless mercy, reconciliation, and pardon. When he ended the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis never said our job to limitlessly extend mercy and compassion is complete, or that we can assume the role of bystanders to injustice. Nor did he say that we could return to...

  • Learning Advocacy

    When I told my mother I was applying to intern at the Columban Center, she said “you’re doing what?" As someone who considers herself a fairly nonreligious person, a faith-based organization seemed like a strange place for me to end up. I didn’t know anything about Catholic Social Teaching, and while faith has always been a motivator for my advocacy, I rarely connected that faith to organized religious practices.Three months later, I still wouldn’t call myself religious, but my worldview has certainly...

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